Sheep Island SPA

Protected area type: Special Protection Areas
Feature type: 
  • Species
  • Antrim
Council: Causeway Coast and Glens

Comorant - Photo by Laurie Campbell
Sheep Island Special Protection Area incorporates and coincides with the Sheep Island Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI) boundary and it is located 0.5km off the North Antrim Coast.

The island is almost circular, with a lower promontory to the north west, a near vertical cliff face rising between 20m to 30m above the High Water Mark Mean Tide and a domed top overlaid with a thin layer of soil.


Sheep Island qualifies under Article 4.2 of EC Directive 79/409 on the Conservation of Wild Birds by regularly supporting, in summer, a nationally important breeding population of the northern European sub-species of cormorant. In addition, the population is the largest in Northern Ireland and thus makes an important contribution to the range of the sub-species.

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